By: Beth Doohan
“Since God chose you to be the holy people He loves, you must clothe yourselves with tender-hearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony… And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.” ~Colossians 3:12, 14, 17
“You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using My name. This is My command: Love each other.” ~John 15:16-17
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As daughters of the King made in God’s image, we represent Him by how we love others. I believe God has given us a special supportive role that provides strength, creativity and comfort in our daily lives. In Genesis 2:18, God said, “I will make man a helper who is just right for him.” Woman was designed as a help-mate, and her nurturing, compassionate heart is especially good at it. Of course, women have different personalities created by God, but at the heart of each woman God put a desire to serve and help others.
My friend Keri has many talents, and has used them in various areas of work and ministry throughout her life. In her current season, she is a wife and mama to two little girls with one on the way. Once her baby arrives, she and her husband will have three girls under age four. In this busy season of motherhood, she has felt God calling her specifically to set aside some of the passions and outlets she used to invest in so that she can take on a more supportive role to her husband in his busy career and political campaign.
Keri shared with me her sense that as their lives became more full in this next season, she sensed God calling her to be an anchor for their family life by setting the vision of how they spent time together, prioritizing the most important areas of life and saying no to less important (even good!) things. The Lord has laid on her heart a desire to cheer on her husband during his season of work and political service, while caring for the many needs of her three young daughters.
While each family’s roles, dynamics and seasons are different, there is an important premise from Keri’s story. Namely, she has chosen to recognize and respond to God’s calling on her as a woman to set the tone in their home, provide creative ways of staying connected and invest without reservation into her family’s wellbeing. Whatever your family dynamic may look like, we have specific, God-given roles as women to be nurturers, caregivers, helpmates, servant-hearted, other-centered, creative and strong women of God.
A woman of God can be deeply fulfilled in the roles of wife and mother, but they are far from all she has to offer. This special gift of godly womanhood starts with a surrendered heart, listening to God’s calling, both as a woman and as an individual. Elisabeth Elliot writes in Let Me Be a Woman:
I have known, either personally or through their writings, some great single women whose lives were rich and fruitful because they understood a paradoxical spiritual principle: “If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. And the Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your desire with good things, and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.”
I recently attended a church service where a young woman in her twenties was commissioned to become a missionary in Kenya. She had been part of the church community for several years while training for her God-given calling and was finally ready to join another missionary couple in their evangelistic and humanitarian work. Her pastor and several other leaders prayed for her next season and shared about the character they had observed in her. They told of her ready willingness to observe and fulfill needs around her, to dive into projects with creativity and care, and her specific passion for the people of Kenya and a longing to draw them to Christ through her life’s work. She is living out her calling, to give of herself for God’s kingdom and to use her gifts as a woman and individual to serve her Lord Jesus Christ.
Throughout life, we may serve in many different callings depending on the season and specific needs of those around us. However, the righteous character of a woman after God’s own heart, specifically in His design for her, is something that our Lord calls us to always foster and grow in through His continued work in our lives (Philippians 2:13). As you read the following excerpts from Proverbs 31, reflect on the unique characteristics that God designed for all women, and for you specifically as a daughter of the King:
“She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness. She carefully watches everything in her household and suffers nothing from laziness… Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.”
What joy to wholeheartedly surrender to our Lord in all parts of our hearts and lives! Ladies, may we always purpose to walk in God’s calling for us as women in every season. To provide strength, nurture, teach and creatively invest in those around us. May we experience the profound paradoxical principle that when we pour ourselves out for others, we ourselves receive strength! “The Lord will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength” (Isaiah 58:11a). Amen!
TIME TO REFLECT
1. What calling of service has God placed on your heart in this season? Are you in a time of preparation or walking this out currently? How does your being a woman of God specifically prepare you for this calling?
2. Read Proverbs 31:10-31 in its entirety. What other godly characteristics has the Lord laid on your heart to embody as a woman of God? How will this allow you to experience Him in both intimate and powerful ways?
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(This devotion contains excerpts from The Wholehearted Woman: Who She is and Why She Matters by Beth Doohan and Jenni Walker.)